In my last article I was telling you about the advantages of a nomad lifestyle. It might seem to you like a perfectly happy life. But let‘s put the cards on the table! Being a nomad doesn‘t make you a happier person per se. A nomad lifestyle is not for everyone. You really need to want this and accept the compromises which come along with this lifestyle in order to really enjoy it. Let me tell you about the downsides of being a nomad, so you can evaluate if this is for you or not.

1. Loneliness

If you live a nomad life alone, like I do, you must be fine with being just by yourself sometimes. You might meet nice people on your way. Lots of new people. Maybe even too many new people. But after all, you don‘t have your best friends or family with you. There are plenty of moments where you miss them a lot. Obviously, you can make new friends, other nomads, who share your lifestyle. But it‘s not very likely that they will all follow your route. Nomad friends come and go.

On top of that, it is not easy to build up and maintain a romantic relationship. You need to find a partner who is willing to live the same lifestyle as you do to make it work. Forget about long distance relationships or visiting each other from time to time. It doesn‘t work in the long run, I have tried many times. Of course, if you love freedom, you might also enjoy the possibility of having several romantic adventures wherever you go. But the moment will come when you feel lonely and wish to wake up next to a beloved person. It may take some time to find that person.

In order to be ready for this, you need to have a healthy relationship with yourself. If you are that kind of person who enjoys being by him or herself for a good while, you are good to go. You are in a happy relationship and your partner wants to become a nomad, too? Jackpot!

Pidurangala Rock, Sri Lanka, 2022

2. Productivity

Since you need to settle from scratch every time you change your place, you probably need some time to find your daily routine and to get productive at work. Every place is different. Climate, food, different time zones and your social environment have a remarkable effect on your general wellbeing and your productivity. 

Also, there are so many distractions when living in lovely places. It is not easy to sit down and work when you have the beach just in front of you, knowing that you could just go for a swim or a surf session. That‘s probably one of the reasons why you have chosen to be a nomad. But keep in mind that this will affect your work, so set up your schedule wisely if you need to get things done.

Writing blog articles at MOND Cafe, Hiriketiya, Sri Lanka

3. Your life might be volatile 

Another reason for living a nomad lifestyle is doubtlessly the freedom you get to make your own choices. But it might happen that you don‘t really know how to deal with that level of freedom and all of a sudden this results in insecurity and groundlessness. Some people simply need guidelines to be set by someone else and they are lost when they are free to manage their whole private and work life on their own. 

As a nomad, you can plan a couple of months ahead, but you will probably not know what you will be doing next year. Some people love to have this flexibility, others feel insecure and restless. Are you one of those people who never came up with a good answer to the „where do you see yourself in five years?“ question in job interviews? You are ready to be a nomad!

If your answer is „I can’t even tell you what I will be doing in 5 months and that‘s totally fine“, you would probably enjoy a nomad lifestyle

4. Your ecological footprint

I wanted to list only three downsides of a nomad lifestyle, to have a good balance with my previous article describing the advantages. But I have to mention this one, because it would be ignorant not to do so. 

As a nomad you spend lots of time in airplanes. Either to escape winter or simply because you want to see many different countries. The carbon footprint is definitely not something nomads can be proud of. Of course you can argue that lots of managers, politicians and consultants also fly around more than actually needed. But you can‘t deny that you would fly less if you weren’t a nomad. Obviously, you can always choose to travel on land only, but then your choices are limited. 

The least thing you can do is to compensate for your CO2 consumption by paying fees to organizations like atmosfair for example. Additionally, you could try to live a more sustainable life by reducing your plastic waste, eating less meat, buying less clothes and engaging in environmental projects. But all in all, let‘s be honest – a nomad lifestyle is definitely not the most sustainable one!

Beautiful to the human eye – a nightmare for our planet

All this doesn‘t scare you at all and you are ready to accept the challenges? 

See you on the other side!